Thursday, April 21, 2011

Five Conversations You MUST Have With Your Daughter

I just finished reading a wonderful book about moms and daughters! If ever there was a book that made me want to be a better mom who is more secure in her own skin, it's this one. If I've ever read a book that makes me want to de-bunk all the "bunk" my daughter is going to see and hear and be prepared for the trials that my daughter is going to endure living in a fallen world, it's this one. All the things I am concerned for on my daughter's behalf is in this book. I appreciated the author's candor, her ability to admit that she doesn't have all the answers, and her humility in confessing her short-comings.

What this book doesn't say is that there is one way and it's the only right way to raise your daughter and it's in her book. It doesn't say that if you do "a+b+c" that you will always end up with "d." It doesn't come across preachy or condescending.

What it does say is that in all our failings, there is a God who is greater. That with all the negative statistics, there is hope. That the world lies to our daughters (even more than it lied to us) and that there is Biblical wisdom that combats those lies. That your daughter is more than the sum of her parts. That sex outside of marriage IS detrimental to the whole of you...emotionally and physically. That, as our daughter's moms, our opinions DO matter to them. That God did give us years to grow up for a reason! Don't rush it! (And how you can protect your daughter against the "I'm five going on fifteen" mentality and appearance.) That dreaming and desiring to be a wife and a mom is a good, Godly dream! And that it's easy to be "easy" but hard to be virtuous (but there are still kids who are doing this!)

(You can't really look inside this book from here...but I snagged the picture from Amazon and you CAN look inside it there!)

I know, for me, I have to constantly check myself. Am I showing my daughter what a good mom does? Am I being a good example of grace and mercy? Am I lovingly disciplining or being angry? Do I protect her from too much (because yes, it's possible!) or am I allowing her to experience age-appropriate mishaps for learning and reproof? Do I love her enough to change the stuff I don't like about myself so that she doesn't have the same "stuff" to deal with?  Do I love and appreciate the person that God made me, inside and out, so that when my daughter is my age, she has a better love and appreciation for how God made her, inside and out?

Do I take every opportunity I can to make it a teachable moment? Even things that I don't necessarily want my daughter know...she's going to find out. I try to teach my kids things before the world does.  I've found with many things...whether it's truth of the Lord or something like Santa Claus, if I get to them first with the information, I've won the first battle.  Do I do a good job of that?  I bet I could do a better job.

Yes, there are statistics. And some are staggering. Some, I knew. Some, I didn't. All point to the fact that God's truth is truth and that His plans and designs for our daughters and their lives are more promising than anything the world has to offer. 

Thanks, Brooke! This was a great read for me! I owe ya! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm redecorating....kind of....'s been creeping up on us for a while.  We've seen the signs, but it's hard to comprehend it until it breaks out in brawls.  We have six people in our house. While four are "little" people, they will not be so little forever.  We have a couch and two chairs in our living room.  One is pretty much not operational during tv time because you can't see the tv from it.  Minor technicality.  The couch seats the four kids uncomfortably. I had taken to sitting on the floor with Isaac.  Nic would have Hannah on his lap and the two bigger boys with him on the couch.  It was awkward for family nights.  Did I mention we have tile floors?  Not so fun to sit on for two hours during a movie.

So...buying a new couch was creeping up on us.  Buying one soon stopped creeping and starting jumping in front of us as important when they starting fighting over someone's elbow in a side, feet kicking legs, and stealing pillows.  *Sigh*  Can't they just stay little?

New we come....I looked.  I looked a lot.  I checked out Ikea.  Had to be a sectional.  Good sectional colors...I fainted over the red one.  And had my heart set on it.  For months.  It was cheap.  It was a cover so I could take it off and wash it.  I could change the color if I wanted to.

 *Sigh*  It was not meant to be.  Thank the Lord for the $300.00 delivery fee that stayed my hand on the check out button!!!  I saw a sectional that was comparable in size and realized that in five years, we would be having the same problem we have now:

Six people (four are now bigger...hopefully I am NOT one of them!) and no room to sit.

Off to the furniture store I went.  With Brooke.  'Cause the boys were home with the kids.  That's just how we roll.

And I fell in love.  With something completely different than I was expecting.  It means I have to readjust the vision in my head to fit the cozy feeling I want to have with our family instead.

It means that the mantel I created is going to house a tv above it instead of a picture.  It means that we are going to have a much bigger tv than I ever thought we would (thanks to a very generous couple that we love in our young married's class).  It means that my husband is through the roof excited that what HE wanted for the living room is what he's getting.  And I'm excited because this means I get to redecorate.  PROJECTS! it is...sort of....our MASSIVE couch that our whole family will get to sit on for at least a decade (hopefully, two decades!).
We bought this (but in a lighter tan-ish color):
 The picture just doesn't explain how big this couch is.  Seriously.  Two walls of our living room and the chaise sticking out to kind of separate the breakfast nook from the family room...gone.  And now...that means our tv armoire has to go.  I have taken one for the family team and opted for a bigger couch that will seat us all comfortably, even when the boys are six feet tall...provided they don't try to lay their big, dirty, stinky bodies on my couch (because aren't all boys big, dirty, and stinky?).    That, together with the chocolate chip oatmeal bake they had for breakfast this morning should score me enough Mommy points to last me for a while.  Like...their whole lives!

And what used to be in our family room...will now be in our living room.  More room for Monday night Bible Study!  YAY!!!!  It's a win-win, I know!